The pike cichlids (Crenicichla) are with 94 accepted species (and there are still a large number of undescribed ones) the most species-rich genus of cichlids at all. One of the most distinctly different species is Crenicichla jegui from the Rio Tocantins drainage. There the fish lives very hidden and was therefore discovered only when the Tucuri dam was built. This created shallow residual pools in the area of the former rapids, where a few specimens were found. The scientific description was made in 1986.
The up to 30 cm long species is an absolute rarity in the hobby. They are animals with strongly reduced swim bladder, therefore they live a bottom-bound life. The teeth show clearly: C. jegui is a predator. Fish, fish pieces, shrimps etc. form its food in the aquarium. The location/shelter is defended vigorously against conspecifics. This looks brutal, but hardly leads to injuries. However, a prerequisite for keeping several specimens is a very large aquarium, plenty of hiding places and strong current.
We currently have some 10-12 cm long wild caught specimens in the stock. Sex differences are not yet recognizable in this size, sexually mature females get a bright red stripe in the rear part of the dorsal fin.
For our customers: the animals have code 669062 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer